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May 24, 2020

The Healing in Conversion

The Healing in Conversion

Passage: Acts 9:1-19

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: House Calls

Keywords: church, persecution, paul, saul, conversion, blindness, damascus, suspicion

Saul sought to wound the church--to eradicate it. In time He would need to be healed by the very one He sought to persecute. Blindness of the eyes would be the first thing in need of healing, but only as preparation for an even deeper blindness to be removed. And his blindness is everyone’s blindness.

Order of Worship

CALL TO WORSHIP: 2 Corinthians 3:14b-18
PRAYER: The Lord’s Prayer
OT READING: Isaiah 35:5-8,10
MESSAGE: The Healing in Conversion
BENEDICTION: 1 John 3:2-3,18

Children's Lesson

Readings & Scripture

CALL TO WORSHIP: 2 Corinthians 3:14b-18
LEADER: For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

ALL: 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

PRAYER: The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

For Thine is the Kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever Amen.

OT READING: Isaiah 35:5-8,10
LEADER: The bible is one complete story; all pointing to the finished work of Christ. As we work through a series each week, we typically offer additional readings throughout the service from the old and new testaments; connecting to the central text for the day and showing the hope and beauty of God’s one continuous Word to us. Our Old Testament reading for today is found in Isaiah 35.

LEADER: 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

LEADER: Our Central Text for today can be found in Acts 9:1-19

LEADER: But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. 4 And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.

BENEDICTION: 1 John 3:2-3,18
LEADER: 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

ALL: 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.


  • John 3:3
  • Acts 9:26-30
  • Acts 22:1-16
  • Acts 26:12-23
  • Galatians 1:13
  • Galatians 1:23
  • 2 Corinthians 4:7


5.24.20 Album


  1. If your faith is in the finished work of Jesus, describe how Jesus became part of your story, about how He became convincing enough to follow Him. Was it a sudden jolt or more like a dawning? Be as vivid and as candid as you can.
    If you still have reservations about belief in Jesus, what are they? Where did those reservations come from? If you had to imagine the best reason
  2. To what idea does Saul mainly become converted to/persuaded of?
  3. How might Saul being made physically blind for several days be a metaphor for the larger spiritual blindness he had to be healed of? How is that spiritual blindness of his the same as ours which we, too, must be healed of? In what ways do we stagger around in that version of blindness?
  4. What’s the point of being converted? Name several. What would you say is at the top of the list? Why?


  • Christianity… if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important. - C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock
  • If the promises made to me by Christ are genuine; and if divine providence takes me in hand as an individual, however humble, then my immortality will also, in turn, be personal. In which case, death itself is finally overcome, and not merely the fears it arouses in me. . . . I find the Christian proposition infinitely more tempting—except for the fact that I do not believe in it. But were it to be true I would certainly be a taker. - Luc Ferry, A Brief History of Thought
  • The Cross no longer seemed a grotesque symbol of divine sadism, but a remarkable act of love. And Christianity began to look less strangely mythical and more cosmically beautiful. . . . The Cross no longer looked merely like a symbol of love, but like the answer to an incurable need. - Jordan Monge
  • before I found God, I had an unconsciously manufactured higher power: I spent a lifetime trying to earn extra credit from some imaginary teacher, grade-grubbing under the delusion that my continuing mistakes—missed assignments, cheating, other nameless sins—were constantly held against me. And I knew in my heart that failure was inevitable. What Christ teaches me, if I let myself be taught, is that there is only one kind of judgment that matters. I am saved not because of who I am or what I have done (or didn’t do), but simply because I have accepted the infinite grace that was always offered to me. - Anna Marie Cox